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BETA PHOTO: Proxima Wall and West Slabs area
Ancient Melodies heads up the center of Proxima wall connecting prominent fetures between improbable sections of steep slab that have just enough features to keep you going.
Pitch 1 35m 5.9+ 8 bolts. Climb straight up along ribs to a small overlap. Step up over the lap then cruise up and left to the chains.
Pitch 2 35m 5.8 5 bolts, gear. Continue up through some small parallel cracks then 10-15 m of 5.8 slab to the chains.
Pitch 3 50m 5.10+ 13 bolts. This is where the fun starts. Climb about 45m of small face holds, slab, and mantles to where the wall begins to steepen. From here a 4 bolt sequence on thin side pulls and face holds with no feet will get you to the chains at a large arching ledge. Fun last move to the ledge.
Pitch 4 40m 5.10 11 bolts, gear. "Boss Hogg Pitch"
This stellar pitch follows a long right facing corner that has occasional gear placements and thoughful climbing. Another pitch with a fun crux right before the chains. Don't get too pumped on this long sustained pitch.
Pitch 5 30m 5.10+ 12 bolts, gear. Head up and right through an invisible foot traverse to gain the left facing corner. Once here experience the desperate smearing and miniscule finger locks through the corner. Good foot work will be the key on this pitch.
Pitch 6 25m 5.11-(5.10 A0) 10 bolts, gear. The crux on this pitch comes right off the belay and doesn't let up for 10-15 feet until the angle of the wall decreases. Cruise up very thin holds along a slippery dike, the second move can be skipped by french freeing the bolts, but will only make the pitch slightly easier.
Pitch 7 25m 5.8 2 bolts, gear. The final pitch is a short mungy adventure to the top of the wall. Cimb up and right past 2 bolts to gain a large left facing corner that ends at the top of the ridge. A little dirty per Darrington top out pitch standards.
Proxima wall is situated to the climbers right of Exfoliation dome, just above and right of the West slabs. Approach the climb from the Granite Sidewalk up to the large ledge just below the west slabs. From here head up and right through a prominent gully to the base of the climb marked by a metolious rap anchor. Short sections of 4th class scrambling involved. Rappel the route with 2 60m ropes, skip the anchors at the top of pitch 5. One can also continue to rappel the west slabs for three more raps to the top of the sidewalk.
Medium rack to 3-inches
BETA PHOTO: TOPO
BETA PHOTO: Looking up from the base of the route
D. Coltrane working the firxt crux section almost ...
Left facing Dihedral on the 5th pitch.
Crux section of the 6th pitch just after the chain...